NHL Rumors: Blues, Flames, Maple Leafs, Senators

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, there is an update on the talks between the St. Louis Blues and Arizona Coyotes when it comes to Jakob Chychrun. The Calgary Flames are looking at a long-term deal for MacKenzie Weegar, but what will it cost to get it done?

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The Toronto Maple Leafs have signed Rasmus Sandin, but what’s next? Finally, could the Ottawa Senators be ready to waive Nikita Zaitsev if he can’t be traded?

Blues and Coyotes Haven’t Had Serious Talks

As per Andy Strickland, any rumors about the Blues being seriously in on trade talks involving Chychrun should be toned down a notch. He notes that even if there is interest, there have been no serious talks between the two sides. He adds that things can always change, but as of now, nothing is close.

Related: Flyers News & Rumors: Couturier, Hart, Frost & More

Chychrun has been confirmed as ready to move on from the Coyotes and wants to be dealt to a contender. That said, the Coyotes are asking for a lot in return, and Chychrun’s injury situation is making teams hesitate.

Flames Will Have to Commit a Big Contract to Weegar

TSN’s Mike Johnston noted during That’s Hockey that the Flames would like to get MacKenzie Weegar locked up to a new deal but that people might be underestimating what it’s going to cost the team to do so. Johnston believes it’s a seven or eight-year deal that gets this done and Johnston said, “It would be significant because he’s such a good player.”

MacKenzie Weegar Florida Panthers
MacKenzie Weegar, Florida Panthers (Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)

He added:

“I don’t think people understand what a quality right-shot, right-handed defenseman. They’re hard to find, and he’s one of the very few guys that can do it at a high level in the NHL. If you can lock him up. The Calgary Flames feel like they have a window to win, the next three or four years. That is it before the Kadri and Huberdeau start to get a bit older into their core ages, into their 30s. He’s right there.”

The Flames are believed to be ready to commit and they are one of the teams that have taken the news that the salary cap is going to jump in the next three seasons and said internally that these are the three years they go all in. They know that as these stars get older, there could be declines in production, but these expensive deals might not look so bad when the cap is at $93 million.

Maple Leafs Sign Sandin, Move Coming

The Toronto Maple Leafs announced that they signed defenseman Rasmus Sandin to a two-year deal. This was a tricky one to get done by many accounts, even though Sandin didn’t have a ton of leverage in negotiations. Reports started surfacing earlier this week that a deal might be close, especially with the injury news in Toronto and the opportunity that would be presented to Sandin to elevate himself up the lineup.

Pierre LeBrun of TSN is reporting, “Sandin and his agent Lewis Gross reached out to Leafs GM Kyle Dubas early this morning and expressed a desire to end the contract stalemate. Leafs stood firm on $1.4M AAV. With injuries on Leafs’ blue-line, Sandin felt the pull to end the stalemate.”

With the deal now complete, the Leafs are almost $3 million over the cap if they sign a PTO player like Zach Aston-Resse. That would give them a 23-man roster and speculation is they’d like to trim it down and move some money. The easiest candidate for a trade would be Alex Kerfoot.

All that said, GM Kyle Dubas has shown an ability to work the salary cap like few other GMs and just when you think the Maple Leafs are stuck, they move a few chess pieces around and get unstuck.

What Do Senators Do with Zaitsev?

Ken Warren of the Ottawa Sun wonders if there will be room for Nikita Zaitsev on the Senators roster and speculates that the 30-year-old defenseman could be moved. He notes that Zaitsev could be placed on waivers because his contract is potentially tricky to trade.

Warren writes:

The biggest issue is his remaining contract. After receiving a $2 million signing bonus as part of his deal in the summer, he has a 2022-23 salary of $2.5 million. He is also due a $2 million signing bonus next summer and a $2.5 million salary for the 2023-24 season. Barring injuries in the final five exhibition games, it’s possible Zaitsev could be placed on waivers.

source – ‘WARRENSPIECE: What’s in Zaitsev’s future, Greig sleeps easy and Stutzle mum on Giroux’s faceoff magic’ – Ken Warren – Ottawa Sun – 09/28/2022